Fashion branding is an international gold-medal sport, so it’s fitting that the big first parties of the Games combined the two themes. On Saturday night, Dsquared2’s Dan and Dean Caten, the identical twins who designed the fantastical opening ceremony costumes, were feted by MAC Cosmetics. The crowd that crushed into a hotel lobby included opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, rapper k-os, former Olympian Nancy Kerrigan, Jeanne Beker and Ben Mulroney.
Then there was the much-coveted invite to Omega’s Valentine’s night party “hosted” by Cindy Crawford, one of the brand’s celebrity “ambassadors,” which drew a stylish crowd wearing fabulous shoes despite the rain. Also on hand were Vancouver restaurateur Umberto Menghi and a few former Olympic gold medallists busy with future Games: former British MP Sebastian Coe, who fronted London’s 2012 bid, and Alexander Popov, who worked the crowd talking up Russia’s 2014 Games. The American dynastic pair David Lauren, son of Ralph, and model Lauren Bush, niece of George W., also swanned through, both in Ralph Lauren, the official designer for the 2010 U.S. team.
Until Crawford’s half-time entrance, speculation swirled (ill-founded, alas) that Omega ambassador George Clooney would be with her. The lineup for photo-ops included B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, who ended up being late for his own opening-night bash at B.C. House in the Vancouver Art Gallery, hosted by Vicki Gabereau.
Provincial house parties are more subdued. At the minister’s party at Ontario House on Saturday night, B.C. business legend Jimmy Pattison and big band orchestra leader Dal Richards swapped torch-bearing tales. Pattison expressed relief that his leg of the run had been downhill. Richards, at 92 the oldest torchbearer, didn’t have it so easy: his run from Robson Square kicked off with a 35-step climb, which suggests somebody at VANOC has one perverse sense of humour.